Have you ever planted something? a shrub or a tree that comes to life, year after year? You, then know how it feels to see everything out in the garden break bud and come to life. To experience this gradual change , a pale and dead garden coming to life, from bare branches to fresh green leaves covering every empty branch. It’s a part of nature that will never stop to amaze me.
I planted a foot tall lilac shrub, which is now grown into a full sized bush. I did not know it will grow this big, never thought it will have such intense fragrance and beautiful blooms. I am so glad I planted it right outside my living room window. So even when i can’t go outside i just have to pull up the window and enjoy their beauty and sweet sweet smell!
Macarons have been around for a while but have only recently become mainstream and are available at every bakery that sells cookies and cupcakes. Macarons are beautiful, the thing that attracted me was their vibrant colors.
Macarons are also quite expensive. Before I would pay to buy a couple but now when I know that it’s not that hard to bake these at home. However, there is always a reason to buy one if you find a macaron cat in the middle of a mall or you happen to be in a town which has a bakery famous for its macaron. both the times it was worth it.
This recipe here should bake a couple of dozen 1½ inch macarons just like the ones you have seen at the bakeries for a fraction of the price you pay for these :).
Taste-wise Macarons can be very sweet or mildly sweet depending on what you use as a filling. There are no borders when it comes to the filling choices for macarons. That is the best part, you may use any shade of food color and for filling use ganache, buttercream, jam, and even peanut butter!
8 steps not to be missed when baking macarons are..
So my daughter and I went through more than a few recipes before we chose the one here. While the recipe for macarons is simple, it’s the 8 things that you have to take care of to get the best result.
Pick a sunny day. Humidity is not a good thing when it comes to baking macarons but if you have to then increase the resting time to an hour. Read more about resting time in point number 8 below.
Use egg whites that are at room temperature. Warm egg whites give volume to the macarons. I did come across a few recipes where they have used egg white right out of the fridge but just to be safe use room temperature egg whites.
Use parchment paper, macarons are delicate so you can’t use regular wax paper. The good thing is that you may reuse parchment paper.
Make a template, draw an inch and a half wide circles, an inch apart, on parchment paper with a marker, and flip it on the cookie sheet so that the ink is on the back side.
It is important that you grind the almond flour before you sift it.
Be extra careful when mixing meringue and almond flour mixture. Over mixing will make the macarons flat and under mixing will make macarons puffy. So just to be safe once you start folding the flour and meringue count each time you fold and try to fold in as much flour as you can. It should be around 60 folds, haha no kidding.
Resting the macarons for 30 minutes is important. This will give you a shiny dry surface that is not sticky.
[recipe title=”French macarons” servings=”24 to 26 macarons” time=”1 hr & 30 minutes” difficulty=”hard”]
– 3 Egg Whites
– ¼ cup white sugar
– 2 cups confectioners sugar
– 1 cup almond flour
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt
– 3 drops of food color
1. Place almond flour in a food processor and process it until is very fine. Then mix the confectioners sugar and almond flour thoroughly. Sift this mixture and dump the bits left behind. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, (if you have a stand mixer use the stand mixer bowl) fluff warm egg whites for 4 minutes then stop and then start again for 4 minutes while gradually adding sugar this time.
3. The mixture should be fluffy with stiff peaks. Add a pinch of salt and desired food color, the color tones down a bit after the macarons bake so add accordingly. Beat again for 1 minute at high-speed.
4. Slowly mix in almond flour and powdered sugar mixture to the egg whites. Remember this is the part where it could go wrong, mix enough that the batter gets to a thick flowing consistency like molten lava. Just to be safe, try to count the times you fold in the mixture, it should be somewhere between 60 to 65.
5. Once the batter is ready to fill the icing bag fitted with a large round tip and squeeze out on the circles you made on parchment paper. once all the circles are filled tap the cookie sheet on the counter two to three times to release the air bubbles. If you have pointy cookies push the point by pressing it down with a wet finger.
6. Leave the tray on the counter for 30 minutes and now is a good time to preheat the oven 300°F.
7. Bake the macarons one tray at a time, in the preheated oven, on the middle shelf, for 20 minutes. you may leave the other tray on the counter while the first one bakes.
● Use parchment paper, macarons are delicate so you can’t use regular wax paper. The good thing is that you may reuse parchment paper.
● Make a template, draw an inch and a half wide circles, an inch apart, on parchment paper with a marker and flip it on the cookie sheet so that the ink is on the backside.
● It is important that you grind the almond flour before you sift it.
● Over mixing will make the macarons flat and Under mixing will make macarons puffy.
● Be extra careful when mixing meringue and almond flour mixture. So just to be safe once you start folding the flour and meringue count each time you fold and try to fold in as much flour as you can. It should be around 60 folds, haha no kidding.
● Resting the macarons for 30 minutes is important. This will give you a shiny dry surface that is not sticky.